There’s been a lot of talk about the role of women in the construction industry in recent years, with women’s organisations such as the Association of Women Construction Workers (AWCWI) and the Building Trade Union Federation (BTUF) highlighting their struggles to be included in the workforce.
These figures have been highlighted in recent media stories about women in construction and the construction community itself, and are likely to be a significant factor in the debate surrounding the new construction rule.
However, it’s a discussion that is also likely to have its roots in a lack of recognition of women’s experiences in the industry.
The current rule has been designed to benefit only a select few, who are not likely to include those who are in the sector at all.
While this may be the case in some areas of the construction sector, the rule itself doesn’t reflect the reality of the industry and is likely to perpetuate an atmosphere of discrimination.
The lack of a clear definition of what it means to be part of the building trades, as well as the absence of any evidence to support the inclusion of women, has led to a culture that places women at a disadvantage in the workplace.
In this article, we will look at the history of the gender wage gap in the United States, and what this means for the construction trades in the future.
When the first men-only construction contracts were awarded in the UK In 1948, the then-government-run building industry in the US was set up with the aim of increasing the number of women employed in the profession, and there were no female employees to speak of.
The number of men working in the trade grew, however, as the construction boom took off and women began to enter the workforce, and this growth in the number and size of construction contracts has continued to this day.
In fact, as of 2020, the number working in construction is estimated to be around the same as that of the workforce as a whole, and women account for just a small percentage of those employed.
In the construction of the new Empire State Building in New York, construction contracts are awarded to women, with almost 70% of the work being done by women.
While these figures are not quite as high as those awarded to men, it is interesting to note that in 2016 the first-ever gender-neutral construction contract was awarded, with a gender-specific provision in the contract that said “female” construction workers would be given priority.
While women were still excluded from the first construction contracts in the Empire State, they are now included in all subsequent construction contracts.
However the reason for this change is still unclear.
As the New York Times notes, in the late 1950s, a “Women’s Commission” was created to address gender discrimination in the public sector, but was disbanded following the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment Act of 1964.
While it’s possible that the new rules will address the problem of gender-based discrimination in construction contracts, it would be a stretch to call the current situation a victory for women.
In 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled that the “one size fits all” approach of the original Equal Rights Act does not apply to the construction and construction trades, with it stating that women’s groups have the same rights as men in the job of representing them.
As a result, while women may now have equal rights to all aspects of construction work, the current rules will likely continue to put them at a further disadvantage than they are currently.
The gender wage gulf in the labour market Women earn more than men, but the gender pay gap is still large.
As well as being the case for men, there are also numerous gender wage gaps in other areas of work, including construction and clerical jobs, and many women in this sector work in jobs that require advanced skills, such as nurse or medical assistants.
In 2017, there were 8.6 million women in work in construction.
The overall wage gap between men and women was 5.4%, with men earning 77.5% of what women made.
In comparison, construction workers in the private sector made 78.4% of men’s wages, and nurses and medical assistants made 80.9%.
For men, the gender gap was even wider, with construction workers earning 77% of clerical and trades jobs and 72.3% of nurses and health assistants jobs.
The construction industry has also seen a marked increase in the use of migrant labour.
Between 2016 and 2020, construction jobs grew by 20.6%, compared to 14.7% in the same period for the private and public sectors.
This is a significant difference, with the construction trade employing a much larger share of migrant workers than its private sector counterparts.
However it’s important to note, these numbers are estimates, and they are likely an under-representation of the labour force.
For instance, in 2018, construction and maintenance jobs accounted for 25.3 million jobs, compared to just 10.2 million for construction and office jobs